Top 10 Tools For Project Managers
While running a software development project it’s impossible to keep everything in mind. Task sequence, task dependencies, project milestones and deadlines, parts of software being developed – are just a few things project managers (PM) have to deal with on a daily basis. To manage project tasks successfully and keep everyone updated with the outcomes project managers use effective and convenient project management software.
In this article, we will look into the most useful project management tools for IT projects.
What Is Project Management Software and Why Is It Needed?
Project management software represents various project management collaborative apps that help individuals or teams to organize and manage their projects and tasks efficiently. By using these apps, project managers can track teamwork, learn what the team needs to successfully complete tasks, assign tasks, set deadlines, close completed tasks, and much more.
There is a wide range of project management tools available for free or on a subscription basis. Some PM tools work great just for small-scale projects while others better suit all types of projects. However, all of them have a roughly similar set of features and fulfill the same purpose – project task management.
Here are the key project management tools for IT projects.
Dashboards are used for a simple project and task tracking. They can be presented in a form of Kanban boards, a calendar, a graph with milestones, or a set of smaller boards with the most important statistics or project details.
Task Management Window
This is one of the basic features of project management software. It helps project managers to track the tasks in progress, check and allocate the upcoming tasks, and track the tasks in progress. Task management windows can have a form of a calendar, a Kanban board, or a Gantt-chart with task dependencies.
All project management tools allow setting deadlines, although not all of them have a time tracker. Time-trackers are needed for accurate employee billing and careful project planning. Many of them can be added as project management software extensions.
This is another basic feature for teamwork that can be easily integrated into most project management tools. It allows project teams to stay updated on the tasks, assign tasks to each other, comment and add attachments to the tasks, and even communicate in chats in the app.
Reports help project managers and teams track project status and estimate its progress. They visualize the project data so that the project team can have a quick look at a project and review its strengths and weaknesses. This provides various insights on how to improve team performance, better allocate project resources, and follow the project completion.
Overview of 10 Best Project Management Tools in 2021
Now, let’s review the top 10 most popular project management tools for software development projects.
Jira is a powerful and professional tool created specifically for tracking and managing software development projects. First, it appeared as a software bug-tracking tool though with time the Atlassian company turned it into an all-inclusive solution for managing medium and large-scale projects.
Jira follows the Agile software development methodology with software development iterations, and frequent product delivery capabilities. Software developers can track their projects in Kanban and Scrum modes, as well as perform QA activities.
Using Jira, project managers can:
- customize their dashboards;
- track issues, tasks, bugs, workflows, and epics;
- use calendar and Kanban and Scrum boards;
- add time trackers and Gantt charts as extensions;
- get detailed reports on team performance, project progress;
- establish deadlines and milestones, and much more.
For a beginner, Jira may seem complex software and, indeed, it requires some training for effective project management. That’s why the company started a light version of Jira that runs online. Apart from the cloud version, Jira users can choose between Standard, Premium, and Enterprise tires. They are provided as SaaS or stand-alone software to install on local servers.
Redmine is another professional project management tool created specifically for software development. The app includes standard features which can be found in any project management software, like a users’ board, a calendar, contacts, and a Gantt Chart.
However, Redmine has some really valuable functionality that makes this app a viable alternative to Jira, including:
- issue tracking;
- roadmaps and milestones;
- Git and help desk;
- CRM and SVN repositories;
- team chart;
Software development teams at SCAND are extensively utilizing Redmine in their app development projects due to the outstanding features it provides.
By using Wiki features our software developers can create manuals and software documentation and keep it in one place. With integrated Git and SVN control project teams can track product versions and store them in a well-organized order.
All these features make Redmine a strong and effective solution for small, medium, and large-sized app development projects.
Trello app is another Atlassian’s creation that suits well small software development projects. The main idea of Trello stems from Kanban boards.
Trello dashboards are divided into three areas where users can create task cards. They can place these cards in the Things To Do, Doing, or Done areas, moving them from one area to another as the task is being completed.
Trello is highly visual and super user-friendly, that’s why many people prefer this app for individual task management. What’s more, it’s free. It’s a great choice for startups or freelancers, though teams carrying out large-scale projects might need to look for a different solution.
There are many cloud-based project management SaaS options, and Wrike is one of the greatest. This compact and intuitive app provides its users with various subscription options depending on the type of project and working style. They consist of Professional, Business, Wrike for Marketers, Wrike for Professional Services, and Enterprise options.
With Wrike project managers can:
- create and manage tasks;
- track tasks and manage task dependencies in Gantt Charts;
- prioritize tasks in accordance with deadlines;
- produce project reports;
- view projects as a list, a board, a table, or Gantt Chart;
- customize the main dashboard with widgets.